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Raised in California, Darznik never imagined that her mother Lili lived another life completely in Iran before marrying Darznik’s German father. Lili was married off at 14 to Kazem, a man who would prove to be violent and abusive. Lili gave birth to a daughter, Sara, but when Kazem’s abuse escalated, Lili knew she had no choice but to flee his house and seek a divorce. The move cost her Sara, as Iranian law dictates children stay with their fathers. Lili decided to go to school in Germany to become a midwife, but the sudden death of her father forced her to come back to Iran to earn money for her own and her brother’s schooling. When she returned to Germany, she drew the attention of the earnest German engineer who became her husband and the father of her second daughter, Darznik. Taken from tapes her mother sent her after Darznik discovered a photograph from her mother’s first wedding, Darznik’s memoir is a beautifully recounted homage to her mother’s life and struggles. --Kristine Huntley
"Darznik is a rare talent, and her family history a dazzler." -MORE Magazine
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The story was uncomfortable at times in that from a western point of view trying to understand the relationship between mothers and daughters in the Mideast and the relationship these families had with the males in their family and extended family.